This mixed-use building in Rainham village’s conservation area contains a new library, life-long learning centre, community facilities, café/retail units and 16 flats. The project also provides a new public garden with a bus interchange alongside the station
In early 2009 London Thames Gateway Development Corporation commissioned Maccreanor Lavington to design the building and lead the project’s design team. The key to this was finding a contextual solution that could act as a meeting point for the many other regeneration projects planned for the borough, while resolving complex site constraints and the varying requirements of the end-users.
The building’s irregular form is derived from the project’s many urban design aims, forming a new public space that creates a formal face to the historic village and a relationship to the railway station. A regular pattern of pitched roofs provides echoes of the site’s industrial history, but is cut at angles by the facades to make irregular end gables. The architectural language thus created is a modern interpretation of the medieval village’s local vernacular, with relevant materials used throughout.
The entire project is built to a very high standard of sustainability. The library achieved an ‘Excellent’ rating under the bespoke BREEAM assessment criteria. It will be naturally ventilated and lit, and its roof is designed to provide the best possible area for photovoltaic panels while providing north light and ventilation to the rooms below. The residential dwellings within the library development meet Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4.
Prisca Thielmann, associate director, Maccreanor Lavington
Date commenced March 2009
Date completed September 2014
Cost £4.5 million
Location Celtic Farm Road